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4.0 out of 5 stars Sets the record straighter !!
a compelling read , having seen the film some years ago , a story which caught my imagination then , it's great to see someone has taken the time and effort to put this book together , piece by piece of history .
not easy when the main characters in a true story , are no longer around to give their version of events .
a wonderful piece of narrative and...
Published 1 month ago by andy miller

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity
The author has obviuosly carried out a lot of research on the main characters in this sordid tale, but presents it in the style of a factual report and icludes a lot of extraneous detail, which adds nothing to the story. From the additional quotations from witnesses and newspaper reports you can get some idea of the background to the crimes and what life was like during...
Published 10 months ago by Jennie H


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity, 15 Feb 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
The author has obviuosly carried out a lot of research on the main characters in this sordid tale, but presents it in the style of a factual report and icludes a lot of extraneous detail, which adds nothing to the story. From the additional quotations from witnesses and newspaper reports you can get some idea of the background to the crimes and what life was like during and after the war, but the book would have benefitted from more description to put it into context. I wasn't convinced by the author's case against Timothy Evans - eg why did he return to Rillington Place after the murders?- and I don't think we are any closer to finding out the truth of what happened. This could have been a much more interesting book with a bit more imagination and some rigorous editing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced, 16 Jan 2014
By 
Ms. V. George "VICTORIA GEORGE" (LONDON, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Jonathan Oates makes what should be a simple subject into a difficult read. He dots about with the story's timeline and repeats himself many times. He also refers to the St. John Ambulance Service as the St. John's (that's just a minor thing though). On Page 76 Oates himself gets confused between the defence and the prosecution.

The author takes it as fact that Evans was not informed that Geraldine had been strangled with a tie. I believe Evans had already been told of this by PC Black, although the police say he hadn't been told. Well they would wouldn't they? - the police were determined to get a full confession out of Evans.

The author states that nobody heard Beryl cry out at the time of her murder. The book states that Beryl was stranged from behind so she wouldn't have known what was happening until the cord was around her neck - too late to cry out. The same with the baby Geraldine. The author states that Ethel was in the house and did not hear the baby cry (at the time when it was murdered). Well the baby was known to cry a lot anyway.

I believe Evans' last statement was the truthful one because it makes a lot more sense than his prior confessions. Evans was a bully but I don't believe he had the mindset to murder his own baby daughter. Christie killed Beryl for the same reasons he killed his other victims - lust. He then killed Geraldine to get her out of the way and to stop her crying and drawing attention to the fact her mother had gone.

Are we to believe that Christie knew nothing of the bodies concealed within the wash house? Christie, it has been said, knew everything that went on within that house.

And the massive coincidence remains - Jonathan Oates wishes us to believe that two stranglers lived in the same tiny house at 10 Rillington Place at the same time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The devil in the detail, 14 April 2014
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I had already read the Kennedy and Marston books about this case. This new book by Dr Oates adds much new biographical detail to the life stories of the main characters and victims.

The book contains quite a bit of nit-picking and finger-pointing regarding the supposed sins and omissions of previous writers so I feel free to so indulge myself here relative to Dr Oates’s book. Seriously, it is crucial that everything recorded as fact in a book of this kind stands up to examination.

The author would have us believe that Evans knew, without being told, how the bodies of Beryl and Geraldine were concealed. “Only the killer would know this...” He quotes Chief Inspector Jennings reading a statement to Evans: “ I am C I Jennings in charge of this case. At 11.50 am today I found the dead body of your wife Beryl Evans concealed in a wash house at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, also the body of your baby daughter Geraldine in the same outbuilding and this clothing was found on them. etc. etc.”
Ludovic Kennedy gives the same statement but with a crucial difference: the Kennedy version is “...also the body of your baby daughter Geraldine concealed behind some timber.......” This is critical because if the Kennedy version is correct it means Evans was told how and where the bodies were concealed. Why is the Oates version different?

Oates states that at Evans’s trial the two policemen Black and jennings said they did not tell Evans how his wife and child were killed. But once again (from Kennedy) Inspector jennings continues the above statement to Evans by saying: ‘.........Later today I was at Kensington Mortuary where it was established that the cause of death was strangulation in both cases...”

If this weren’t enough the author goes on to contradict the testimony of Inspector Black who said at the trial that Evans was told exactly where and how the corpses had been hidden. Oates says: “.....but in this he was wrong as the statement read to Evans does not give such details.” Well according to Ludovic Kennedy’s version, the statement read to Evans gives precisely those details. Marston agrees. Why the Oates’s version omits these crucial details I do not know.

Another plank in Mr Oates’s case against Evans is that Christie’s wife and the workmen heard no screams from the top floor while Christie was supposedly busy murdering Beryl Evans up there. Well, in 1953 Christie strangled four women in his ground floor flat and nobody in the many separately-rented rooms above heard or suspected a thing.

The film “10 Rillington Place” is drawn over the coals citing inaccuracies. This was a film. A dramatic reconstruction never intended to be a wholly factual documentary. I don’t suppose that Liz Taylor resembled Cleopatra. Nor would I expect her to.

In summary this book does flesh out the main characters in this sordid drama as never before. It has not changed my opinion that Evans was innocent. Unfortunately the book is marred by sloppy logic which should have been eliminated at the editing stage.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sets the record straighter !!, 22 Oct 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
a compelling read , having seen the film some years ago , a story which caught my imagination then , it's great to see someone has taken the time and effort to put this book together , piece by piece of history .
not easy when the main characters in a true story , are no longer around to give their version of events .
a wonderful piece of narrative and historical data .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this. Very very interesting take on the 'accepted' ..., 26 Jun 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this. Very very interesting take on the 'accepted' version of the story i.e. that Evans was innocent. Looks of good period detail too evoking the era brilliantly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of facts, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
The book is highly informative and in considerable detail. The style of writing is not so good but most people will read it as a catalogue of events in any case.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at the man and the crime, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
I have long been hooked mon the film ten Rillington Place, and the fact that the events there took place relatively recently.

This book addressed the events in an interesting way, but I think the author was a little too dismissive of previous accounts,which detracted from my enjoyment, and made me mark it down a bit
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit antiseptic, 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
I was looking forward to a new take on an old theme and this is somewhat controversial, but the author speaks with too much authority for my liking (and spends too long rubbishing earlier accounts.) Let's face it the killings are 60 years old, there's no one left to give first hand testimony and both Christies and Evans were liars. Whilst the interpretation of archive material is well done, the book fails to create any real atmosphere.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Christie Of Rillington Place, 21 Dec 2013
By 
Mr. A. Baron "a_baron" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As Thomas Huxley observed, the great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. There is nothing beautiful about the case of serial killer John Reginald Halliday Christie, and by the same token there was nothing innocent about Timothy Evans, the man who today is widely believed to have been hanged for the crimes of the former.

This erroneous belief is due largely to the one-sided propaganda campaign waged by Ludovic Kennedy, the author of the book "10 Rillington Place" on which a film dramatisation was based, and through which the world knows of the horror that went on there.

What are the chances of two murderers living under the same roof, killing independently, each being unaware of the other, and one blaming the other for his crimes? Incredible though it may seem, that is what the facts of this case support, and in this first ever dedicated biography of John Reginald Halliday Christie, Jonathan Oates brings the discipline of a trained historian to focus on those facts and much more.

There have been many other works about Evans & Christie, two men whose names are locked together for infinity, but no one has covered the case of the latter in such depth. Research at the Public Record Office - or The National Archives as we are now to call it - and in other archives has yielded fantastic detail and insight into a man who has been portrayed as the embodiment of evil. Yet although he murdered at least six women including his own wife, Christie couldn't bring himself to kill his agéd dog, and took the animal to the vet to have it put down.

Fascinating though Christie's life story may be, most attention will continue to be focused on the events of November 1949. The inconvenient facts are that Evans was the first person to raise the alarm about his wife being dead, feeding the police a cock and bull story before implicating Christie, and then when confronted with the evidence, confessing to both murders. In spite of attempts by Kennedy, Michael Eddowes before him, and others to blame the police, it is clear even from his own mouth that at no point did they mistreat Evans, nor did they twist the evidence to support his entirely voluntary confession. It was only when Evans realised the enormity of his crimes and of his own position that he did a total about-face.

There are one or two minor criticisms that can be made of this book, principally the mass of split infinitives and some casual errors, for example on one page Stanley Setty is referred to as Samuel Setty. It is incidentally the Setty case the authorities believed at the time to have inspired Evans, and incredibly Evans met Setty's murderer - the enigmatic Donald Hume - while on remand in Brixton.

Minor flaws or not, this is the definitive work on Evans & Christie, and even more so on Christie the man as well as the sexually depraved serial killer. Whether or not a second edition is published, this is the one book on the case everyone should read, now and for the next hundred years.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far fetched, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
Not being critical of the author - just the premise - that there were 2 sex murderers living in Rillington Place. Mr Oates argues unconvincingly that Timothy Evans murdered Beryl and the baby whilst Christie was killing other women. Worth reading if just for the opposing point of view that hanged Timothy Evans
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